Surely, one day I’ll sleep, maybe even twice.
Alcohol does not help, writing is my only vice.
Use the pen, never the sword,
you having a great life is such a fine reward.
Now back to sunset filled dreams of the one;
a lady in waiting that never seems to come
as I drown in tears for you.
I’ll leave it up to you to see if they are red or blue.
- “Late Sleeper,” June 22, 2016
Five Years Ago – May 25, 2016
It’s near midnight and I’m in the kitchen after shooting a scene for a short series written by my ex-girlfriend Angelique. Angelique had crossed the line on hurting me intentionally during a scene and said I was no longer worth her time. She’s been verbally and emotionally abusive this entire time and now it’s getting physical. I’m nothing but an idiot to her.
I’m in the kitchen, knife in hand, ready to let go of my existence as the last straw about to drive the blade to my chest. I don’t go through with it. This was a part of a traumatic wave of not being able to trust others, not being able to love, and not being able to succeed.
A Year and Some Change Later – 2018
This is a story of redemption, doing something I could never do in the shadow of my abuser Angelique’s power: go back to community college, focus on myself and finally get to the university dream I promised myself. I could not have done it myself, of course. Wendy Sanchez was a co-worker of mine through the AmeriCorps program and we met during a Christmas party event. Wnedy had a crush on me in December 2017 and we decided to date around January of the next year.
“I feel like I did wrong in asking you out because I didn’t realize you were that hurt and broken,” Sanchez said.
With Wendy, it felt like a bittersweet relief, but my guard had been up because of the damage as Angelique always tore me down from my journalism work, to my humor, and to my job of being a dishwasher at the time.
“You had trouble trusting others because you’ve been lied to, manipulated and gaslighted. You didn’t even trust your mom. You even thought you would hurt me. You would shut down and write a poem about it. You had so much anger. I didn’t know why. “How come he can’t let her go? How come he can’t trust me for a bit?” I thought,” Sanchez said with a sadness in her voice.
Will you promise to be the same
when the lights dim and cameras fade?
Because I will do the same
for I’ve been fooled by this act
before you came to my stage.
- “Safe by You,” May 7, 2017
During our time together, I was not exactly in the best places, but the challenge was to get back to college and complete the path I originally set out for myself. I did AmeriCorps for the scholarship to have the funds to return to East Los Angeles College.
She had laid the groundwork and game plan for how many units I needed left to get my associates, what classes to take and what college to apply to. However, I couldn’t truly see the effort she put into all of this and I to her chagrin, became walking emotional baggage because of this
“You were also a drain and you didn’t know you were eligible for college. I kept pushing you and you kept getting upset. I took down all the units and you were eligible to transfer. It took you a month and half to talk to a counselor,” Sanchez said. “That was my biggest challenge for you. It was nice when you took initiative and you started to apply. You were getting the imposter syndrome again and you were like ‘What if I’m not good enough?’”
I went back to ELAC in 2018 of that year after my year of service and battled the beast that was math. I hate math and numbers definitely are not my thing and even did a five-week course of math in winter to get through it all. Spring 2019 was the final semester and we were still together with her encouraging me along the way to succeed and kick all the ass at it and applied to Humboldt State University..
I was fired from a job around this time and devastated, however, this would free up time to plan and head to my next alma mater. Sanchez knew I was upset by this, but saw that aforementioned positive. This was also the time we decided it would be best to mutually part ways.
Wendy really did help shape me on the journey to becoming who I am today. I thought I was doing this to get back at another and for myself, but I’ve been doing it to show Wendy I could and give back to her. It’s taken writing this to really appreciate her and know that I would be nothing without them.
lover of European couture;
the modern Elle Woods of her day,
curled hair with Snow White skin
with lips as red as rose,
I wish I was enough to bloom in her garden,
but I’m still growing.
- “Women in Verses” August 28, 2020